China's aircraft carrier Liaoning takes part in a military drill of Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy in the western Pacific Ocean, April 18, 2018

Building Up the Chinese PLA: A Team Effort

A former US Marine fighter pilot is awaiting extradition from Australia to the United States. He’s charged with helping the Chinese PLA learn naval flight operations from 2009-2012. It’s against the law to export such defense know-how without a license.

If the charges are true, he really shouldn’t have done this – ie helping the People’s Liberation Army improve its ability to kill Americans if and when the time comes.

This is bad enough, but one might ask: ‘just him’?

What About Culpable Wall Street and Silicon Valley?

Yes, teaching Chinese pilots to master the difficult art of flying on and off an aircraft carrier is at best stupid and at worst traitorous.

But how about providing the funding, the technology, and overall support for the People’s Republic of China‘s (PRC) economic buildup? That is what allowed Beijing to build the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into a force that is now the “pacing” threat? In other words, a match for United States forces. And in some respects more than a match.

That’s what Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and too many CEOs have been doing for the last 30 years or more. One forgets how many people were hoping their ship would come in (to use the 19th century term) in the form of a chunk of Chinese communist cash.

Those who sounded the alarm were called “loons” or “cold warriors” and were told they certainly knew nothing about the new globalized economy and so-called “shareholder value.”

Who Waived the Rules for China

The White House and Congress got in on it too – letting the PRC into the World Trade Organization in 2001 on the promise that it would one day meet the rules for joining the WTO. It still hasn’t.

This bolstered China’s economy and hurt our own. And Beijing did not have to choose between guns and butter.

US financial regulators started listing PRC firms on American stock exchanges in 2013. That’s important for getting the capital and foreign exchange to buy things like iron ore to make steel for PLA Navy ships. And for buying foreign technology (with military uses), among other things.

The Chinese companies had a waiver on disclosure requirements, since Beijing declared “the books” to be state secrets.

How many American or other nation’s companies got special treatment? None.

Read the rest at Japan Forward.

Grant Newsham is a Senior Fellow at Yorktown Institute.

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